The Right Way to Give Your Boss Bad News

No one likes a difficult conversation with the boss, but it can be a valuable tool for building a trusting relationship. Try these four steps the next time you need to share upsetting news:

Describe the problem. Provide a general overview and show the specific impact it has on your work and the company's goals.

Identify your solution. Explain how you've already tried to solve the problem and what you've learned from those attempts. Recommend a specific approach, along with alternatives to give your manager options.

Discuss the benefits. Focus on concrete examples of how your idea will succeed. If you have tested your approach on a small scale with good results, share that information.

Accept responsibility. Demonstrate your commitment to ensuring success. Work with your manager to develop a final action plan.

Source: Today's Management Tip was adapted from the HBR Guide to Managing Up and Across.

Nick Kalikajaros 2019